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If you run a red light in the US and kill someone - what's normal procedure?

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posted on Jul, 11 2010 @ 06:10 AM
Hi all - a friend (wife and mother of 3 young kids) was killed recently in a tragic accident in NY, witnesses on the scene stated that she was hit by an SUV who ran a red light, she was riding a scooter.

She collided with the passenger side of the SUV, was thrown over the car and sadly died before she reached the hospital. A few online articles from local newspapers have said that witnesses had said that someone had shouted 'watch out!' as the car sped through the red light... now it has come to light that the driver of the SUV (who wasn't injured, I believe, but was taken to hospital with chest pains) was a Federal Officer and was part of the Treasury department, no alcohol was detected, the driver was carrying a holstered weapon.

Police do not intend to press charges, and despite eye witnesses stating that it was the SUV who ran the red light have placed doubt on which driver was at fault.

My question.

Is this normal procedure for this type of incident in the US or does this sound a bit iffy due to the involvement of as yet unidentified federal officer?

Any comments welcomed, thank you.


Edit to add.. I have deliberately not linked to any of the news articles as I don't particularly want to personalise this, just would like to know if anything is untoward..

[edit on 11-7-2010 by badBERTHA]

posted on Jul, 11 2010 @ 06:38 AM
You need someone else to tell you this is injustice?

Looks clear cut BS to me - they look like they are protecting their own, who doesn't want to pay out for ruining the lives of 3 kids.

posted on Jul, 11 2010 @ 06:42 AM
It may "look" that way to you because you want it too? Ask yourself what has happened in the past or would have happened if the person was just a person under the same circumstances? Probably the same thing.

posted on Jul, 11 2010 @ 07:13 AM
reply to post by Amagnon

Hi - not really looking for the emotional side, there is plenty of that at the moment as you can imagine.. Just wanting to understand the NY traffic laws for this kind of thing. When, for example, in the UK a police car hits and kills a member of the public, there is usually an 'investigation' and that is that, as far as I'm aware, I can't recall a time when an officer has been convicted in such a circumstance.. not quite the same I know but it's the first example that springs to mind.

So if a 'normal' member of the public in NY or the US in general was to be involved in a similar incident would they charged with reckless endangerment or something? What would the normal policy be?

Thanks for any info

posted on Jul, 11 2010 @ 07:25 AM
On the subject of law enforcement, there was recently a case in NJ where a trooper ran a stop sign and killed two girls. There was a huge criminal trial that ended in it being ruled accidental. I believe there was followup civil litigation that may still be going on.

I believe the penalties in cases like this vary from state to state, and from recall, I think it really depends on the investgators' findings at the scene as to whether charges are filed. Things that affect this are involvement of alcohol or other substances, reckless driving, being on the phone or texting, and I'm sure a few other things.

posted on Jul, 11 2010 @ 07:28 AM
reply to post by ~Lucidity

Thank you - I'll have a dig around for similar cases



posted on Jul, 11 2010 @ 07:30 AM
reply to post by badBERTHA

I am sorry - that is manslaughter.

I am not sure what happens next.

posted on Jul, 11 2010 @ 07:33 AM
In the UK, if this type of event happens then I believe that if the Police were responding to an emergency situation then that might play a significant part in any investigation or hearing.

Normally if an emergencgy vehicle is responding it will be flashing it's lights or whaling it's siren BUT i fear here is that the 'get out of jail card' could be played by saying the vehicle was responding without ALERTING the criminals, ie no light or sirens.....

It does seem terribly unfair in this case that an Almightly HUGE vehicle was being driven at speed, breaking rules of the road and ultimately causing such grief..... I hope the individual concerned has a moral compass and concious....!!!

Best Regards

PurpleDOG UK

posted on Jul, 11 2010 @ 07:34 AM
There was a story within the past few years of a cop speeding through a stop sign at night and killing two girls... But the only links I'm able to find involve officers hitting pedestrians during chases...

I know it wouldn't be 'shocking' to a majority of the US to hear the guy gets off with a slap on the wrist, but I can't find any of the cases my memory is trying to bring up

posted on Jul, 11 2010 @ 07:37 AM
You can bet that a civilian would be charged with vehicular homicide if he ran a red light or a stop sign, and it resulted in the death of an innocent person who was obeying the law and minding her own business.

But when a cop or a fireman or an ambulance driver runs a stop sign and kills somebody, the system does a weird convolution and the official party walks away with a suspension.

Oops! A cop ran over somebody's mother. Gee. Nobody's at fault. Tough break. Okay, show's over, everybody go home.

This has been going on for as long as I can remember. I've watched these cycles of law enforcement colliding with the citizenry for decades. Hell, in Houston, back in the 60s and 70s, they used to announce the daily death toll in the morning news.

Thing is, the Executive Branch of Government is the ENFORCER, right, and the only effective enforcer is an unapologetic enforcer, right. So, they have immunity to the law.

This isn't an American invention, okay?

This is the way it goes down all over the planet, every day, every year, every century, every millennium, in the human race. The ENFORCERS kick ass and take names, they maintain order, and they keep it from turning into a melee, right.

So, we look the other way and we don't prosecute the ENFORCERS. They have their own code, they're supposed to police themselves.

But don't make the mistake of thinking this is an American problem exclusively.

— Doc Velocity

[edit on 7/11/2010 by Doc Velocity]

posted on Jul, 11 2010 @ 07:51 AM
In PA, the driver would of been charged with involuntary manslaughter (causing death by being reckless or negligent).

posted on Jul, 11 2010 @ 07:54 AM
Manslaughter...or aggravated manslaughter I'd say.

This man needs to be tried for a crime. If a citizen runs a stop sign
and causes a death what happens? Same thing should apply to this guy.

I doubt I'd get to walk if I ran a stop sign and killed someone.

posted on Jul, 11 2010 @ 08:04 AM
reply to post by badBERTHA

Oh yes, having said that was manslaughter, you have a good case.

Get a lawyer right now.

It does nor matter who did it - it was manslaughter.

And, by the way, I am so sorry, and I wish you good luck.

posted on Jul, 11 2010 @ 08:11 AM
The topic was if you run a red light and kill someone what is the procedure. Well, the procedure in a normal situation is for the cop to interview witnesses and if the witnesses say that the light was red when the perp hit the victim he gets charged with the higher of two crimes, which would be involuntary manslaughter (you killed someone somehow without forethought and without meaning to). He probably would not be charged with running the red light because the charge of involuntary manslaughter is more serious. However, because he is Joe Blow, person of some significance to someone in power, (and possibly a minority which is a different subject altogether) the state's attorney's office has chosen, based on the police report, not to charge him. Which is a crime hahaha.

However -- there is still the issue of the civil suit. Even though for whatever reason he was not charged with a crime -- there still exists the remedy of the victim's family suing him for the death of their mom or wife or whoever she was to them. In this case, he would most likely be found at fault for causing someone's death and his insurance policy which covered his vehicle (and possibly any umbrella insurance that he carried which would cover an excess situation - say he did not cover enough insurance on his auto policy so it goes into his umbrella excess coverage). So the family, even though he was not charged crminally can sue his insurance company and probably get whatever his limits were in coverage. If he had no insurance in effect, there is the possibility that she had to have insurance on her scooter and had uninsured motorist - at which point the family could sue their own insurance company, stating that the driver that hit her did not have any insurance and they had damages at the limit of her uninsured motorist coverage.

In recapping -- while the driver may not receive a ticket for the accident, the police report will show that he was at fault by running a red light, therefore the victim's family deserves the limits of the at-fault driver's insurance coverage. If the at-fault driver did not have insurance or did not have very much insurance coverage, and the victim had uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage on her scooter (depending if insurance was required on a scooter in this state) then the victim's family could look to the uninsured motorist carrier for its limits.

Now, depending on the state and depending on what attorney the victim family's can find, it is possible but not probable that the victim's family could actually sue the perp outside the realm of insurance (say he did not have any or did not have much) and though it would be more complicated, the family could end up getting a judgment against the perp and then having the judgment enforced (say picking up his car or his house, etc.). This is a reality -- but happens seldom. Normally perps who run over scooters have a drinking or drug problem and don't own crap.

You can deal with this or you can deal with that.

posted on Jul, 11 2010 @ 08:35 AM
reply to post by aviatrix

Thank you very much indeed for taking the time to reply, this is very helpful.

My kindest thanks to you.

Thanks to all of you for your responses, gratefully received..

Doc - very aware that this type of thing isn't unique to just the US but I am not in the know regarding the US laws in this type of thing, but appreciate your thoughts nonetheless


posted on Jul, 11 2010 @ 09:29 AM
I am not a lawyer, but I can give you an example of something similar that happened in my town. A teenager ran over and killed an eldery woman while in a crosswalk in front of a church. She was charged with something pretty serious like vehicular manslaughter or something, but the state and prosecutor weren't pushing for jailtime even though the family wanted it.

As the case progressed the girl was caught driving without a license twice and against the wishes of the family the judge did not send her to jail. It wasn't until the girl got caught a third time that she was sent to prison. This girl didn't have rich or connected parents nor was she special needs. Just an average kid.

[edit on 11-7-2010 by BrianInRI]

posted on Jul, 11 2010 @ 09:51 AM
Well all I can give you is what Michigan says, they made a special statute for when someone is killed by a vehicle

750.324 Negligent homicide; penalty. Sec. 324. Any person who, by the operation of any vehicle upon any highway or upon any other property, public or private, at an immoderate rate of speed or in a careless, reckless or negligent manner, but not wilfully or wantonly, shall cause the death of another, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, punishable by imprisonment in the state prison not more than 2 years or by a fine of not more than $2,000.00, or by both such fine and imprisonment.

In other words the accident is investigated by a certified accident investigator, in Michigan this is a very tough course taught by the state Police (classrooom, and reconstruction). The investigation results then would be turned over to the prosecutor who would review the facts and compare them with the Statute above. He would then decide whether to bring charges against the driver.
The civil suit can be brought irregardless of criminal charges or not.

Im sure this process is pretty similar from state to state

posted on Jul, 11 2010 @ 09:55 AM
reply to post by Doc Velocity

I wouldn't "bet" on that. I'd have to see some examples and more supporting evidence, please. Such as that provided by ANOMOLY502, which is a far more factual and reasonable response to the topic being discussed in this thread.

[edit on 7/11/2010 by ~Lucidity]

posted on Jul, 14 2010 @ 05:46 AM

I didn't plan to post any details but as there are elements in this tragic case that are worthy of highlighting..

Here are some links to provide some detail..

This is a selection of articles on the death of Aileen, if you have the chance to read them you will notice that there is numerous mentions to what the witnesses insisted they saw and how the police are saying that no crime was committed, no witnesses etc.. now the car that was originally reported as being registered to the dept of treasury is now being assigned to..

Quote from the Brooklyn Paper
The identity of the SUV driver is a matter of some speculation. The Daily News reported that witnesses saw the man wearing a gun holster and that the car was registered to the Treasury Department. However, the accident report obtained by The Brooklyn Paper said the car — driven by a 29-year-old Louisiana man — was registered to Metro Property Appraisers, a Manhattan firm that does not show up in phone or business listings.

I will post further info when I find any but if anyone uncovers anything else please post here

Kind thanks


posted on Jul, 14 2010 @ 06:17 AM
I have read thru these links, and all I see is speculation about who was driving the SUV. There should be NO specualtion...

If the public is allowed to see photos of the scene, and know the victims
name and general address, then the public should damn well know the
drivers name and affiliation...especially if he is a government employee.

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